Adirondack Land Trust seeks input on Glenview Preserve property
By Tim Rowland
At a public hearing in Saranac Lake Wednesday, the Adirondack Land Trust began planning the future of an iconic tract of high ground on Route 86 north of the village, “where everyone comes to take a picture.”
“I look at that view every morning and I’m astounded at how beautiful it is,” said Ed Grant, who’s lived across from the Glenview Preserve off and on since 1975. Cars pulling off the highway to gaze at a classic mountain panorama prompted locals to name a roadside boulder “Kodak Rock.”
With Glenview on one side and Donnelly’s Ice Cream on the other, it is among the park’s most consequential stretches of highway. But as housing issues have pushed more Lake Placid employees north to Malone, it is also among the busiest, a point that has some neighbors concerned that improvements to Glenview might attract even more congestion.
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“I can see a lot of people going there,” said LeeAnne Baker, a neighbor of the preserve, who hoped the Trust might limit the size of any new parking area.
The ALT purchased the 238-acre tract in 2016, and while it has remained closed to the public as its ecological values have been assessed, it is expected that it will be opened at some point, with some low-impact improvements such as trails and off-road parking.
ALT Executive Director Mike Carr said the trust wants to listen to what the community has to say before developing any proposals for its ultimate use.
Of the dozen residents who attended the meeting, several were concerned about added traffic, litter and potentially undesirable behavior on the part of visitors. But there were areas of agreement as well, most notably the need to get cars — which residents say can line the shoulder seven or eight at a time — off the road, and preservation of the view.
Neighbors were also appreciative of the diverse habitat, which includes farm fields, young forests recovering from heavy logging and boglands that butt up against the Bloomingdale Bog rail trail.
Dave Winchell, a neighbor and ALT volunteer, said the habitat is conducive to unique birding opportunities, citing the savannah sparrow in the meadows, morning warblers in the forest and American bittern in the bog.
The preserve is also home to bobcat, bear, fisher, moose and coyote. “The variety is amazing,” Winchell said. “People will have a great opportunity to enjoy the wildlife.”
In response to questioning, ALT Conservation Program Director Chris Jage said the trust intends to protect the preserve in perpetuity. Selling to the state is not an option, because Forever Wild provisions against tree cutting would, over the years, destroy the view.
In the hands of the Trust, the property can be exposed to gentle management. “We envision not only preserving, but enhancing the habitat,” said Stewardship Manager Derek Rogers.
Possible ideas for the land include trails, many of which would be inclusive of a wide range of hiker abilities, plein air painting opportunities, boardwalks, yoga spaces and educational programming.
“Right now we’re trying to determine what people want to see in it and what they don’t want to see in it,” Jage said. “The condition it’s kept in and everything about it reflects on our reputation. We want (future use) to be interesting, but also respectful.”
High-impact uses such as camping are not in the cards, and while the Trust has received numerous requests for use as a wedding venue, Jage sounded doubtful that private parties would be part of the plan. “Weddings are not in our mission statement,” he said.
As plans develop, more public meetings will take place to hear community sentiment. “The only thing we’re doing now is listening,” Jage said.
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Denise Dramm says
I feel the land trust should not develop this property at all. No parking lots, no trails. Let the wildlife enjoy this sanctuary. I agree to keep trees cut in the meadow. Everything else leave as is. The public has enough land and trails to enjoy in the park.
Loring Page says
Sorry but I’ve watched the Adirondacks go from adirondackers owner ship to city dwellers and the corrupted class down thru the years. Ask an actual Adirondacker that wants to live there on a full time bases what should happen to properties like that. Oh that’s right, you’ve chased most of the out from living there any more.
Jesse Linton says
I’d like to hear more from “approved writers” such as Tim Rowland. More passion on what they believe. Is it possible to be a writer who speaks their own truth?
I’m disappointed by the lack of pressure from these concerned “environmental groups”. Protests? No. Especially not in lake placid. How about we drive from Albany to Lake Placid as slowly as the legal limits allows every weekend until our arguments are heard? Haven’t seen that since the 80’s. We lack the passion and are complacent.
Adirondacks have always been a retreat for the rich. The fact that lake placid has people driving from Malone is a testament to the terrible truth of being a full time year round resident. You live here long enough … it starts to look like it. Rough, weathered and poor.
At 45 yrs old, I know far too many degree holding men & women who have been looked over their whole lives. No good jobs (or jobs NOT available if you live here) no prospect of housing or advancement. Unless there is massive rethinking of strategy…this all gets worse.
Amazing how any organization that claims to speak on behalf of year round residents won’t take a strong action. Too much talk & no action.
Words aren’t going to make this problem go away. When these Adirondack groups are willing to put their comfort aside & stop writing around the problem.
Being forced into hard labor/ or 3 spread out “gigs” while those on vacation look down their noses … it becomes clear that you are a servant. A servant is what all residents have become. Forever wild needs a redefinition. The Adirondacks are not wild. It’s a model. It’s the ONLY model that integrates people & state lands.
Now it needs a voice that can organize a real movement for the 21st century. Just go to Newcomb & ask how much words have helped them and their families.
Marilyn Jones says
Sadly, this is happening all over the country. I have been on a traveling health care worker on assignment in Massachusetts because the upstate NY pays so LITTLE and works you so hard. But the (once) fishing villages on Cape Cod have been priced out of sight even worse than the ‘dacks to the point where a fisherman can no longer afford to live by the sea. It’s sickening, and I don’t know where these people come up with all this money but they are buying up every last bit of decent land in this country. Look at all the ski areas of west, too. Gone to the wealthy and the underclass that serve them, who are willing to live 20 to a house because it takes that many low-paid workers to afford it. There is no more middle class, we are being crushed from above and everything we had is being taken as we are priced out of existence. And yes, upstate is really bad because Albany politicians only care about their wealthy NYC constituency. Working class upstaters are totally abused by their own state, and there are no decent jobs because they are all concentrated downstate.
Michael Richards says
Whats wrong with keeping the fields fields? Someone worked there ass off to make them. Lets keep them that way. The wildlife and everyone can injoy the views.
Keith R Gorgas says
Saranac Lake and its surrounding area has a long agricultural history, which is disappearing. The need for locally grown produce and grain becomes more and more apparent. I believe the best all around use for this land is a cultivated farm land or hayfields.